Clinique Even Better Clinical. Courtesy Photo

Think wrinkles are what makes you look old?

Surprise! Even though conventional beauty wisdom says that those dreaded lines are the most noticeable sign of advancing age, it's really an uneven complexion that adds years, according to new studies.

Sadly, this means I must look positively over the hill, what with my patchy discoloration (thanks to pregnancy and nursing hormones) and dark spots (um, because I picked at my pimples -- yes, I know it's wrong but I did it anyway, and I hope my dermatologist isn't reading this!).

Sick of covering up my unfortunate situation with layers of concealer, I turned to Clinique Even Better Clinical.

This new potion addresses pigmentation issues across the skin color spectrum, since all ethnicities are prone to discoloration-caused by UV exposure, inflammation, acne, stress, environmental irritants and the natural aging process.

American women hate uneven skin so much that "brightening" products are actually the #1 growth industry in the anti-aging market.

Skincare experts have held 4% hydroquinone as the discoloration-zapping gold standard, but its potential for irritation led Clinique to look for more gentle alternatives.

They discovered a botanical complex in the lilac family whose skin-evening results are twenty two times stronger than kojic acid, a potent antioxidant used for its brightening effects. This new ingredient does its magic by exfoliating the upper layers of the skin, breaking up melanin to fade existing spots and calming inflammation to discourage new spots from showing up. Did we mention its results are equal or better than hydroquinone's, but without irritation? Score.

All science-y speak aside, what it really comes down to is this: does it work?

Well, my face and I are happy to report, the answer is yes. The patchy stuff on my cheeks is almost a thing of the past, with the addition of faithful sunscreen application, of course. The stubborn picked pimple spots (admittedly, entirely my fault) are fading slowly, but I've only given it about a month.

Maybe after a few more weeks, my complexion will be so evenly colored that I'll get carded.

Hey, a girl can dream.